All About Strawberries

Learn all about growing your own strawberries — from planting to harvesting, and the different natures of some strawberry plants.

blooming strawberry plants

I love planting strawberries in my garden. Not only are they delicious, they also have beautiful, rich, green foliage and cute flowers (which make a great ground cover in a planting bed or along a path). My daughter loves to come outside and pick them for a healthy snack, and we enjoy planting them together, too.

There are so many varieties of strawberries to choose from! I like to plant several different kinds because certain varieties ripen at different times. By combining early-blooming June bearers with later ever-bearing varieties, you can get strawberries all summer long! You want to order your strawberry plants from Stark Bro’s in early spring and put them in the garden as soon as the soil is workable (after the last frost).

Planting Strawberries

  • Because they need well-drained soil, it's always best to plant strawberries on a slope or hill that gets plenty of direct sunlight.
  • Thoroughly weed the planting area first, and condition your soil with compost and/or manure to keep it fertile enough for your berries.
  • Bury each plant deep enough to fully cover the roots, with the crown just above ground level.
  • Space them about 12-36 inches apart. This seems far, but each plant will send out little runners, and spread like crazy!
  • If you have less space, plant them 12 inches apart and pinch off the runners as they spread, redirecting the plant's growth into more prolific fruit.
  • You want to give your strawberries one year to establish themselves before they grow fruit, so the first year, you should pinch off the flowers as they appear. It's frustrating, I know, but believe me, it's worth the wait! No fruit the first year means these plants will be strong enough to produce a reliable harvest for years to come.

Harvesting Strawberries

This is my favorite part. Because they will spoil quickly or get eaten by wildlife (or my daughter), I take a quick stroll each day through my berry patch and pick all of the berries the day they ripen. You can eat them immediately, put them in cereal, smoothies, or a fruit salad. You can also freeze them for later, or make preserves if you're not ready to eat them right away.

Strawberries are a great healthy snack, full of Vitamin C and iron. They have been used to treat anemia and improve circulation, and they contain pectin, which has been known to lower cholesterol. They're also an anti-inflammatory. This is one gorgeous fruit that's easy to grow, fun to pick, and I don't mind letting my family chow down on this healthy snack!

Guest Article, Patti Moreno, The Garden Girl